PLAINVILLE â€“ With the school year coming to a close, Plainville High Schoolâ€™s Class of 2022 bid farewell to its alma mater Friday night as graduating seniors took their first steps into a new world of possibilities.
Salutatorian Hailey Calder encouraged her classmates to be proud of what they had accomplished and to remember those who had helped them along the way. She said she was inspired to write her graduating speech in part based on her mother, who was no longer with her. Nearly a year since she had been gone, Calder said she was the best role model she could ask for.
â€śA lot of people spend their lives trying to live up to other peopleâ€™s expectations of them. They choose to do things they donâ€™t really want to do and live lives they arenâ€™t satisfied with in order to meet someone elseâ€™s standards of successful living,â€ť she said. â€śSo Iâ€™m here to tell you to not do that. Find what makes you happy and chase after it.â€ťÂ
Because no one has much time in life, she encouraged others to make the most of it.
â€śI say this not to be morbid but rather to remind you to live a life full of whatever it is that makes your heart race a little,â€ť said Calder. â€śAll we know for sure is that we have this moment. The next is not guaranteed. So carpe diem. Seize the day.â€ť
Valedictorian Daniel Sozanski walked listeners through shared high school experiences such as Friday night football games, homecoming, athletic experiences, friendships and the experience of pandemic school life.
â€śWe had to persevere through in-person restrictions, schedule changes, and quarantines which made learning so much more difficult, especially in a year of difficult courses and the upcoming sat,â€ť he said. â€śAmong all this, we lost a lot of school activities and experiences, which was a big punch to the gut during the difficult time. After everything that occurred, our senior year, a year of closure and rejoice, finally came.â€ť
Sozanksi celebrated the return of full sports seasons, senior events and normality closing the â€śchapter of challenge.â€ť
â€śThis year I feel like a lot of us had some of the greatest experiences within our classes, bonding with our peers and teachers one last time before we leave,â€ť said the valedictorian. â€śI implore you all to make good use of your talents and individuality to solve the issues we face and positively impact the communities around us.â€ť
Assistant Superintendent David Levenduski offered some remarks in place of Superintendent Stephen LePage who was at the graduation of his own child.
â€śI believe that public education remains the true equalizer of positive outcomes later in life,â€ť said Levenduski. â€śHaving a high school diploma is like receiving a ticket to opportunity. The opportunity to form your own path, to reach your career goals, passion and inspirations and to dream big, but this opportunity didnâ€™t come to you without hard work, resilience, pain, frustration and most likely many moments of uncertainty.â€ť
The assistant superintendent noted there were 158 success stories being celebrated that evening because each student had a unique path and they were all important, no matter the route taken to get to graduation.